Wednesday, January 31, 2007
If Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were alive today, their infamous sketch,"Who's on First?" might have turned out something like this: Costello calls to buy a computer from Abbott
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: Thanks. I'm setting up an office in my den and I'm thinkingabout buying a computer.
COSTELLO: No, the name's Lou.
ABBOTT: Your computer?
COSTELLO: I don't own a computer. I want to buy one.
COSTELLO: I told you, my name's Lou.
ABBOTT: What about Windows?
COSTELLO: Why? Will it get stuffy in here?
ABBOTT: Do you want a computer with Windows?
COSTELLO: I don't know. What will I see when I look at the windows?
COSTELLO: Never mind the windows. I need a computer and software.
ABBOTT: Software for Windows?
COSTELLO: No. On the computer! I need something I can use to writeproposals, track
expenses and run my business. What do you have?
COSTELLO: Yeah, for my office. Can you recommend anything?
ABBOTT: I just did.
COSTELLO: You just did what?
ABBOTT: Recommend something.
COSTELLO: You recommended something?
COSTELLO: For my office?
COSTELLO: OK, what did you recommend for my office?
COSTELLO: Yes, for my office!
ABBOTT: I recommend Office with Windows.
COSTELLO: I already have an office with windows! OK, let's just say I'msitting at my computer and I want to type a proposal. What do I need?
COSTELLO: What word?
ABBOTT: Word in Office.
COSTELLO: The only word in office is office.
ABBOTT: The Word in Office for Windows.
COSTELLO: Which word in office for windows?
ABBOTT: The Word you get when you click the blue "W".
COSTELLO: I'm going to click your blue "w" if you don't start with somestraight answers. What about financial bookkeeping? You have anything I can track my money with?
ABBOT T: Money.
COSTELLO: That's right. What do you have?
COSTELLO: I need money to track my money?
ABBOTT: It comes bundled with your computer.
COSTELLO: What's bundled with my computer?
COSTELLO: Money comes with my computer?
ABBOTT: Yes. No extra charge.
COSTELLO: I get a bundle of money with my computer? How much?
ABBOTT: One copy.
COSTELLO: Isn't it illegal to copy money?
ABBOTT: Microsoft gave us a license to copy Money.
COSTELLO: They can give you a license to copy money?
ABBOTT: Why not? They own it!
(A few days later)
ABBOTT: Super Duper computer store. Can I help you?
COSTELLO: How do I turn my computer off?
ABBOTT: Click on "START"...
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
And it reminded me that for the longest time I wanted to be an embalmer. Yes, seriously. The whole idea of fixing up dead people so they'd "last" was totally fascinating to me - still is actually, even though I think it's sort of pointless and I'll get rid of my own body in a much more expeditious fashion by giving it to a med school for the kids to work on.
I think one of the main reasons I never did go to school to learn the job, was that I was afraid it would scare people off. I never did have the knack of making too many friends, so I could imagine being at a party, someone asks what I do, I answer and they just sorta smile weakly and wander off to chat with a more "normal" person. I was desperate enough back then to not want to be seen as a wierdo, though the shock value of such a job... wow! (insert evil cackle)
So instead I went to university and got a BA in translation - rather than studying medieval history, which I loved with a passion bacause translation was much more sensible if I actualy wanted to be able to eat and have a roof over my head. I came to Montreal to study Germain at McGill and freelanced until I realized just how mind numbingly boring a job it is. And stopped school - not really knowing what the point of another pretty much useless BA would be.
And I ended up working in a jewlery shop and they took me to their office as a secretary and somehow or other I ended up working as a secret... oops Administrative Assistant* in one office or another since.
Moral of the story: Just go ahead and embalm the fuckers.
* A perfect case of giving someone a title so they can actually feel good about their jobs.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
- Everyday, 200 million couples around the world have sex, which is about over 2000 couples at any given moment.
- Women are most likely to want to have sex when they are ovulating
- The Egyptian 'Ankh' actually a symbol representing the male and female sex organs.
- Sex is the safest tranquilizer in the world
- 30% of women over the age of 80 still have sexual intercourse either with their spouse or boyfriends. (So there is hope!)
- Mosquitoes, which mate in the air perform a sex act that lasts only 2 seconds. (OK, so that must be really fun…)
- Women with a Ph.D. are twice as likely to be interested in a one-night stand than those with only a Bachelor's degree.
- Fellatio ranks as the number one sexual act desired by heterosexual men.
- Australian women have sex on the first date more than women the same age in the USA and Canada. (Ah those Aussie hussies!)
- It’s illegal to have sex without a condom in Nevada. (Lots of illegal activity going on in that state then)
- Today, Japan leads the world in condom use. Like cosmetics, they're sold door to door, by women. (That is just bizarre…)
- More Americans lose their virginity in June than in any other month (Gotta love prom season!)
- A man’s penis not only shrinks during cold weather but also from nonsexual excitement like when his favorite football team scores a touchdown, etc. (Bwahahaha)
- Wyoming’s Grand Tetons mountain range literally means “Big Tits” (We French have left are mark all over the place)
- In the original Grimm fairly tale of 'Sleeping Beauty', the Prince rapes her while she sleeps and then leaves before she wakes up. (Good thing the brothers Grimm were prudes, cause the original traditional story - not so much for kids!)
- The word 'gymnasium' comes from the Greek word gymnazein which means to exercise naked, which often was done in ancient Greece.
- White women and those women with a college degree, when asked said they were more receptive to anal sex than women without college educations.
- The word avocado comes from the Spanish word aguacate which is derived from the Aztec word ahuacati which means testicle. (I can’t help but wonder if there’s hidden meaning in the word kiwi)
- The original representation of Cupid by the Greeks was that of a beautiful young boy whose naked form was considered to be the embodiment of sexual love. (Whatever turns you on I guess)
- The first condoms in the US were made from vulcanized rubber in the 1870s. They were expensive and annoyingly thick and meant to be reused. (Ewwwwwwww…)
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Why do I buy an agenda every year? I’m always full of good intentions, but already I’ve pretty much stopped using it and it’s only January 25. I’m at the point now where I’m entering appointments retroactively. Based on long experience, this means that within a couple of weeks, a month at most, I’ll have totally stopped using it and will be back to the good old yellow (never blue or pink) post it note method.
I can't decide if I'm pathetic because I don't have enough of a life to need an agenda or brilliant because I can keep it all in my head.
Resolution for 2008: do not buy another agenda.
Who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Why does any expression that has to do with always incorporate green?
- The green eyed monster
- Green with envy
- The grass is always greener…
Yes. This is how my brain whiles away the time. Pathetic ain’t it?
So yesterday or was it the day before (my brain was too busy debating the merits of green envy to remember) an announcement came out that the CRTC* had approved a new cable TV station in Quebec (or is it across Canada? I don’t know – and there are way too many parentheses in this entry).
That in itself is not news. The news is that the station is geared to a demographic of 0-3 years old. Yep, you saw right: 0 to 3 years old.
Now me? I don’t know from kids. No rugrats here and I don’t really know how they actually function other than the constant crying, eating and pooping in diapers thing. However, seeing the number of hours kids spend in front of the idiot box each week – and the number of articles denouncing same, do babies really need to be indoctrinated so young? Am I missing something here? Do four month olds really need to watch TV?
Of course, you might also argue that since some parents are parking their kids in front of the TV anyway, they might as well be watching something geared to their age group. Who knows?
Or am I just a curmudgeonly (that word again!) old broad who really needs to get with the times?
*The Canadian Radio/Television and Telecommunications Commission – they decide, in their infinite wisdom, what we can watch or listen to.
PS: Amazing though it might seem, I actually finally did update my blog links. Bow down before my great intelligence and html knowledge. Or not...
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Mr. Jazz and I met these people in Nepal when we went there for the second time. They were on a year long journey through Asia. When they sent the most recent email, they had just arrived in Bangkok on their way to Myanmar.
Last January, they left home for an eight month trip in South America. When they got home (in the south of France) they stuck around for a couple of weeks then travelled by bicycle to Turkey and back.
Now, about a month later they’re off to Asia – for several more months.
No, they aren’t independently wealthy. They work for a couple of years, then sell everything they own and backpack until there’s no money left.
Then rinse, repeat.
Though I’ve travelled a fair bit (at least in comparison with most people), I really envy them their lifestyle.
I envy them their capacity to not get bogged down by things.
I envy their ability to dump all things material except what can fit in a backpack and just leave for a year or more at a time.
As I sit here at my the office, I envy them their talent for living the life they want to live, with no compromises and no trade offs - well, except having to work a couple of years to get the money together to leave for yet another couple of years (which all in al doesn't seem like a huge trade off).
I envy them the guts it takes to actually live like this. I find I'm sadly lacking in the guts department.
Friday, January 19, 2007
"I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've traveled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won't fall down." - Mitch Hedberg
Sounds like something Jack Handy would say...
Or several of my colleagues.
Thursday, January 18, 2007
So, here, since I'm too lazy to think something up on my own, shamelessly poached from Ian's blog , is my version of the alphabet
A= Available~ nope
B = Best Friend~ A few: Sylvie, another Sylvie, Dani (in a sort of halfway real, halfway virtual way)
C= Cake or pie~ I refuse to choose. (You can choose a ready guide / In some celestial voice / If you choose not to decide / You still have made a choice / You can choose from phantom fears / And kindness that can kil l /I will choose a path thats clear / I will choose free will – not that that has anything to do with cake or pie, but I love Rush and hey, here’s a chance to spread the luuuuuuuuuuuuurve).
D= Drink of choice~ Non-Alcoholic: Tea, water Alcoholic: Mr. Jazz’s Cosmos and Margaritas – and of course wine.
E= Essential item you use everyday ~ My brain, and on les philosophical level toilet paper.
F= Favourite color~ Red and any variation thereof except little girlie pink. Cause little girl pink – damn, that’s just a nasty colour.
G= Gummy bears or worms ~ Neither. But, in the interest of education, the Gummi bear was invented in 1922 in Germany by Hans Riegel, and only made it to the U.S. in the early 80s… Check here and here for lots of information on the fascinating (???) world of Gummy candy
H= Hometown ~ I don’t consider I have one, being an air force brat and all. And I really don’t miss it.
I= Indulgences ~ Books, books, books (and lordy do I indulge!), collage supplies, good tea
J= January or February~ February because it’s one step closer to summer (though I really loathe February seriously, it’s gotta be the worst month of the year, but at least it’s two days shorter than the others)
K= Kids and Names~ No kids, no names, want neither
L= Life is incomplete without?~ Books… oh, and sex. Sex and books and books on sex.
M= Marriage date~ August 6 – the anniversary of Hiroshima – which I only realized after we got out of the courthouse and into the car where the news was on.
N= Number of siblings~ 2 - JazzSis, the artist and Big Brother
P= Phobias or Fears~ No phobias, numerous fears I won’t go on about
Q= Favourite Quote~ I refuse to join any club that would want me as a member – Groucho Marx
R= Reason to smile~ Mr Jazz
S= Season~ Summer summer summer summer summer, oh and did I mention SUMMER?
T= Tag 3 or 4 people~ You’re welcome to it if you want it
U= Unknown fact about me~ I actually own a Partridge Family album. In my defence I’ve only listened to it a couple of times. It was the reminiscence factor.
V= Vegetable you don't like~ Brussel sprouts!!! Nasty ass little things.
W= Worst habit~ Laziness. Both physical and intellectual. Both bother me but I’m too lazy to do anything about them.
X= X-rays~ Spine, kidneys, lungs, sinuses, and of course the ubiquitous teeth
Y= Your favourite food~ Anything Vietnamese
Z= Zodiac Sign~ Cancer
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Funny, in a comment yesterday, Evil Spock said Canada did seem foreign because of universal health care. Yesterday, I heard a story on the that I figured would make a good blog entry, and it regards our much vaunted universal health care. Gotta love the syncronicity of it all.
Now, I wouldn’t presume to talk about the state of health care elsewhere in Canada, but the situation in Quebec is dire.
Several years ago the government, in an effort to save money “retired” lots of doctors and nurses and closed lots of hospital beds, leading to a chronic shortage, and the available professionals being terribly overworked.
Along with that, doctors and nurses in Quebec have a propensity for leaving the province to work in other provinces or the US, and often, in the case of nurses, in Europe as the pay here is considerably lower than anywhere else. This leads to a glaring lack of GPs; most Quebecers don’t have a family doctor simply because there are none available. And with waiting lists several years long in clinics, well your changes of bagging a GP for just the regular stuff like annual checkups are slim at best.
I consider myself lucky in that, even though I don’t have a family doctor (mine left the clinic leaving no forwarding address – she’s probably in the States by now), the one doctor left at the clinic does follow Mr. Jazz and I, but for health problems only; annual checkups are out of the question as she simply doesn’t have time to do them, having has inherited all the patients of the two doctors who left. She’s a wonderful doctor but you can’t help but wonder how long she’ll last.
Apparently an average wait at a Quebec emergency room is now 10-12 hours. On a bad day, you might wait 15-20. That’s a helluva long time when you’re feeling bad. Your chances of getting immediate treatment are pretty much nil unless you stagger in with a knife through your heart.
Case in point, on January 8, a woman miscarried in a Montreal area hospital bathroom after waiting 15 (yes, you read right) hours to see a doctor. Here's the story.
So, you’ve waited your requisite 12 hours in ER, they’ve seen you, they decide to keep you. Halleluia you say, I’ve made it!
You’re nowhere near making it. Due to the lack of available beds, you might spend several days on a stretcher in the corridor. Well, you might have a few months ago. Emergency rooms are much less overcrowded now. Because now, you see, they have a system. They’ve fixed up large rooms (dorms really), where they park all the overflow patients until they find them a room. Bad case scenario: you might spend a week or so there, often in a windowless room, until they find you a bed.
Of course, once you actually have your nice comfy bed in what by now seems like a cushy room, you might just pick up one of the nasty bacteria that seem to be thriving in hospitals these days and killing folks left right and centre.
How very third world. And this is in Quebec. Part of one of the richest countries in the world.
Well, at least universal health care is fair. Whatever your level of income, you’re fucked.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
It just hit the news today that since April 2006 the Royal Bank of Canada (CANADA folks, ya know, that huge country to the north of the US!) has been restricting access to US bank accounts to certain people with dual citizenship. If you are a Canadian who also holds Iraqi, Iranian, Cuban, Sudanese or Myanmarese (what is a citizen or Myanmar called?) citizenship, the Royal Bank of Canada aka RBUSP*, won’t let you hold a US account because you are considered a risk by… the US! Here's the story. Other banks are probably doing the same, not that that has been confirmed yet.
Yes folks, Canadian bank regulations are now being dictated by our neighbours to the south.
If there ever was any doubt that Canada is the US’s bitch, there is no doubt today. How can we even call ourselves a country when another country is dictating our policies?
I know what it is! We’ve been annexed and nobody told me about it! Yeah, that’s probably it. I’m a ‘Merican now… ‘cept I’ll be needing a passport at the end of the month to get into my neighbouring states**.
In other stupid government news, when the first overpass collapsed onto the highway a couple of years ago in Montreal, and the whole thing happened again last summer (I talked about it somewhere here, but I’m too lazy to go looking for it to link), the government said that Quebec infrastructures are in quite good shape. And the fact that in places the concrete on highway overpasses has crumbled to the point where you can actually see the rebar (very rusted rebar I might add)? Meh, it’s nothing, normal wear and tear is all.
Ironically, with elections fast approaching, the Quebec government has announced that it will borrow to invest $1billion in infrastructure renewal… Surprise surprise.
Who me, a cynic?
On a totally different note, when I got to the gym at 6:30 this morning, there was a line up in front of the Future Shop. There must be a new video game coming out. Not that I'd know.
* Royal Bank of US Paranoia
**I actually have no problem with the concept of needing a passport to get into the States, it is after all a foreign country. More and more so it seems.
Monday, January 15, 2007
Just looked out the window, the now is falling UP! Does that mean it's leaving? And no, don't give me the whole wind current speech, I choose to believe by the end of the day the snow will all have gone back up to whence it came. So there.
On the way back from the cottage yesterday, Mr. Jazz and I stopped at Costco for a couple of things. I dunno if it’s the same at Costco everywhere, but they just started stocking furniture here in Montreal.
Now, we need a new dining room table at the apartment. Mr. Jazz though, seems to think the white melamine monstrosity sitting in the dining room is still serviceable, and so it is, but honestly it’s a nasty thing dating back to well, the days of white melamine furniture. So I’ve been looking at tables, just to get an idea of what’s out there.
While at Costco, I see a table that would be pretty much the right size. I call over Mr. Jazz. We’re looking at the thing, discussing its merits, not even a glimmer of an idea of perhaps, maybe, who knows, buying it, when Carole walks over to us.
Carole is a Costco employee. Carole’s job is to foist a higher level of membership upon us. Carole starts talking to us about the table. What does this have to do with foisting a higher membership level on us? Turns out nothing. However, the table was made in Japan; that the quality is not there, that we should buy Quebec; that buying furniture at Costco is evil and we should never, under any circumstances do it. Other products, no problem, but not furniture.**
Why not furniture you ask? Turns out Carole is also an employee of a Quebec owned furniture store. Turns out she’s promising to sell us furniture, quality furniture that will last 10 years (um, Carole, if my dining room table is gonna last only 10 years, I’ll stay with the nasty melamine monstrosity which is now 20 and unfortunately as solid as a rock, thanks very much). And she’ll give us a good price, and the furniture is Quebec built and, and, and... On and on she goes. At one point I asked her what her bosses at Costco would think of her spiel to the customers… She looks at me and utters a conspiratorial “shhhhhhhhhhhhhh”. And keeps on going. I felt like reporting her annoying self.
I’m pretty sure she does well as a salesperson at the furniture store. Once she has her hooks in them, people must buy from her just to shut her the fuck up.
** Now I’m all for buying local, but if there is a significant difference in price for the same quality, I might just go cheaper. ‘Cause I’m evil like that. And cheap like that. And ‘cause my itty bitty incredible shrinking dollar can only go so far, and me? I’ve got to stretch it just as far as it can go… Waddaya gonna do?
Thursday, January 11, 2007
- I’m bored
- I have a headache
- I’m feeling somewhat discombobulated (ha! I managed to use that word)
- It’s starting to snow
- My bamboo is still dying
- I have a zit the size of a head on my chin (what the fuck is with that, I’m way beyond zit age)
- Even though this is the mild winter to end all mild winters, everyone around me is feeling bleh and depressed. Which tends to prove that winter blues are not due to superlative amounts of slush and snow, but to the general dragging on-ness of winter
- I need a new box of Kleenex
- I don't understand using a cloth hankie and hauling all that old snot around all day
- I have two cool stones on my desk
- My stapler needs staples, and I’ll be annoyed when I have to use it and don’t have any in the stupid thing
- It’s snowing harder
- I wanna go to Guatemala like Jocelyn
- Kraft Dinner really and truly sucks
- I have to update my blog favourites here, mais j’ai la flemme de le faire (aka: I can’t be bothered)
- I need to find stupid blogs – so I can feel that not everyone out there is witty and funny and perfect except me
- My journal, which I swore I would write in at least once a week, is in desperate need of updating
- If anyone reads my journal after I die they will think I spent my life in deep depression
- That is a depressing realization
- But of course no one will read it after my death
- I'm hoping I can get a collage, which has been rattling around in my head for a long while, done this weekend
- I want a cup of tea
- People seem to be getting stupider – or am I simply noticing more?
- I am becoming more intolerant – or are people simply becoming less tolerable?
- I prefer tart apples to sweet ones
- Working for a living is highly overrated. Being Paris Hilton must be nice. Except the stupid part. And the skank part
- It is very nice to have a Mr. Jazz who does all the cooking
- I'm too bored to continue this
- That is a good thing because it's probably boring everyone as much as it's boring me.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Today I can’t for the life of me think of anything even halfway coherent to write so I’ll have to go with fragments. And yes, I know. You don’t have to say it, I rarely have anything even halfway coherent to say, so it’s all par for the course.
* Apparently it’s de-lurking month, or week, or something. This, for all of you not in the know is the week when lurkers are supposed to post on your blog and admit they are there. Now, I see a couple of problems with this. Obviously if they are lurking, they aren’t all that big on commenting, which sort of means de-lurking week is almost bound to fail. And you can’t know if lurkers do, in fact exist, unless they post. So maybe there are no lurkers out there except the bloggers who came up with the idea because um, they lurk. But maybe they’re the only ones (didn’t I just say I was having problems with the concept of coherency today? Huh? Didn’t I? Yes, I did so just shaddap already!)
So anyway, if anyone is lurking on this blog I dare you to post. I double dare you.
I met a new machine at the gym this week. It’s called a Treadclimber and it’s the evil spawn of a treadmill and stairmaster. Basically it’s like a treadmill, but it’s split in two down the middle and as you walk, both sides of the treadmill mat go up and down like a stairmaster. It delivers a helluva workout though. Feels a lot like hiking up a mountain. Hiking up a mountain at 6:30 in the morning is not my idea of a fun time actually, but there you go. I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. Or something. Because there I was at 6:30 walk/climbing on this devil's spawn of a machine...
In the ridiculous fashion department: I saw a girl this morning in those pompom boots. She was walking along, her pompoms swinging around at the end of their long cords because she hadn’t tied them and zip…they got tangled together and she almost, not quite but almost, took a dive. Evil of me to laugh, but what’s a girl gonna do. Stupid things happen to stupid people who wear stupid fashions.
Oh, and by the way, you know you’re getting old when you see a really hot guy and think, “I’d adopt that kid”. Le sigh
* Illustration by Mike Reed at Mike Reed Illustration
Monday, January 08, 2007
Some days this job just tears huge fucking chunks outta said soul.
Today is the latter.
And for some unknown and unknowable reason, my google page and blogger have switched to French...
I just want to go back to bed.
Friday, January 05, 2007
However, the guys seem to have resolved to die for the New Year. It’s as good a resolution as any I suppose. They’ve had enough. They’re pulling an “Evangeline Lilly” (hot girl, but what the hell is with that name?). They’re tired of the notoriety, tired of everyone exclaiming over them. They want privacy, and ending it all is the only way they’ve found. Contrary to Lilly though, they aren’t being paid $800,000 or whatever a week to be exclaimed over, so it’s their call. When they get too nasty looking, out to the trash they go. The crusty old Jazz heart will not bleed.
Truth be told, the crusty old Jazz heart doesn’t bleed for Ms. Lilly either (surprise, surprise! – obviously, I didn’t decide to forego cynicism for the New Year). You get into acting because, lets face it, somewhere deep inside there, you want to make it. You make it, you acquire fans along the way. They like you. They obsess over you. Deal with it.
I’m all for giving these celebrities their privacy; their private lives, after all, are none of our business. Unfortunately for all of them, many people don’t feel that way. However, if you get into that business, you know what comes with it. You can’t really plead that you had no clue, can you? Seems to me her situation is largely compensated by all the cash she’s raking in.
But then that’s just cynical old Jazz, greeting the new year. And watching her plants die which will liberate some much needed desk space.
Thursday, January 04, 2007
Whoever he is... though I'm pretty sure he's not a Wilensky of Montreal's Wilensky Light Lunch fame. (It's not the food, it's the atmosphere). A scene from Duddy Kravitz was filmed here.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Still recuperating from the holiday. I’m always amazed at how much food is ingested during the holiday period. God knows we eat more than enough all the time in this country, but this time of year? Bleh. I’d ask what the point of it is, but I know there is none, so moving along.
I do have an interesting statistic for y'all to ponder, from the front page of “La Presse”, a Montreal French daily (they took it from a CCPA report you can find in PDF format here).
As of 9:45 yesterday, January 2, 2007, most of the presidents of the 100 biggest Canadian companies had made $38,010, the average annual wage in Canada.
If you make minimum wage ($15,931), they reached your salary at 12:40 on New Years day.
The poorest of these poor gentlemen ('cause there are no women in this select club) will manage to make it to the annual average wage only on January 4 at 12:39, the poor dear.
And on this scintillating note, Happy New Year everyone.
* Every time you comment on her blog, a note comes up saying: Cha-ching! Thanks for your two cents. The epitome of cute.
Photo from istockphoto.com. Don't we Canadians have pretty money, eh?